Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Holly Dalton, Co-Founder of Dalton & Hughes

Holly Dalton is the co-founder of Dalton & Hughes, a Palm Beach-based bespoke gifting company she started with her friend, Sophie Hughes.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I studied a Bachelor of International & Global Studies at the University of Sydney whilst being a resident at The Women’s College. It was here that I was exposed to the realm of possibility of what women armed with education and vision can achieve.

I started my career in Advertising for Ogilvy Sydney before moving to freelance creative work. My freelance work covers Wardrobe Styling for television and print, digital marketing and event production.

Freelancing gave me the flexibility and inspiration to make space for a business of my own, something I have always wanted to do.

In 2020 I teamed up with my wonderful business partner, and long time friend, Sophie Hughes and we started Dalton & Hughes. We have owned our luxury gifting company for over a year now and loved every minute! 

2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

Every day is different and that is what I love about owning your own business! For Dalton & Hughes on any given day we will be sourcing vintage crystal glassware for our gift hampers, designing custom gifting solutions for corporates and running between florists and engravers. A good day starts with a swim at the beach and ends with a sneaky glass of Bollinger with Sophie. 

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

I truly value flexibility! For me, flexibility has been the key in being able to meet the changing demands of a young business. I have also found that productivity can be strengthened by flexibility. 

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

I can’t say I have a great hold on the transient notion of ‘work-life balance’. I find it empowering to have broader conversations about ‘success’ so that we can rewrite the rules of work. In my career so far I have opted-out of the 9-5 paradigm and other concepts of professionalism I personally find limiting. It is also important to acknowledge that women do all sorts of labour outside of money-making.

5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

Starting my day with meditation has made an immeasurable difference. 

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

A podcast recommendation for my fellow business owners – How I Built This with Guy Raz – NPR. So inspiring!

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

I was introduced to Trello about a year ago, and if you’re someone like me that has multiple projects on the go at once, it is an organisational dream. 

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?  

Without a doubt, Melanie Perkins, founder of Canva. I love hearing from Australian female entrepreneurs.

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

A quote from the inimitable Elaine Welteroth: “Gone are the days we work at one job for our entire lives. It’s about dreaming out of the box and designing a career path that is as unique as you are.” 

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.